Beneath a brilliant sky and in front of a crowd of over 150 attendees, Dale Halton served an ace on South Court Number Two as the Charlotte 49ers officially dedicated Halton-Wagner Tennis Complex, Friday afternoon.
The 12,477 square foot facility includes coach's offices, a conference room, a player/team lounge and the men's and women's team locker rooms. The facility is named in honor of Dale Halton and Fred Wagner and their generous support of the 49ers tennis program.
"This is a magnificent facility," said 49ers head men's tennis coach Billy Boykin. "It's kind of a mesmerizing place. It's kind of like being in a cathedral. It adds another dimension to our school and our campus. We're eternally grateful to their generosity and support of 49ers athletics."
The ceremony took place on the courts as the audience sat in the stadium-style seating overlooking the 12 playing surfaces. A framed image of the complex was presented to Halton and Wagner by UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois and Director of Athletics Judy Rose.
"It's really hard to wipe the smile off my face every time I see this facility and every time I enter this complex," said Rose.
Among those in attendance, in addition to the current 49ers men's and women's tennis teams, were a slew of former players, dating all the way back to the 49ers first men's tennis season of 1963.
During the ceremony, the 49ers saw fit to recognize two longtime coaches by naming the office suites in honor of Penny Brawley and Jim Boykin. The Penny Brawley Women's Tennis Office Suite is named in honor of Penny Brawley, the 49ers all-time winningest coach, whose career spanned four decades. The Jim Boykin Men's Tennis Office Suite is named for the all-time winningest men's coach, who led Charlotte to its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 2007. Despite retiring, Jim serves as a volunteer coach on the current staff for his son, Billy.
The complex sits at the corner of Cameron Blvd. and Phillips Road, on campus, and includes a pair of scoreboards with wireless scoring capabilities opposite the 246 stadium seats. Statues of both a men's and women's tennis player, donated by Carol and Irwin Belk, adorn the entrance to the facility's breezeway which leads directly into the stadium.
"Today's dedication is another step in the evolution of this institution," said UNC Charlotte Chancellor Dr. Philip Dubois. "It's another reminder that this institution continues its expansion and development."